ONE THING... Influence Without Authority

Influence is the superpower of good product people. Few people report to your average PM, but they have outsized impact on their organization. They provide direction on what to build to Engineering; they provide direction on target markets and messaging to Marketing; they recommend alliances and acquisitions to Business Development, etc.

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ONE THING... Being too Agile

Premise 1: Agile was developed as a response to lack of consistent direction from business execs.

Premise 2: A good roadmap keeps your organization inspired and on course toward its destination. 

That doesn't mean the two are incompatible. Yet many companies I have worked with fear mapping out a course, thinking "it's not allowed in Agile."

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ONE THING... on lean roadmapping

A roadmap conversation with a customer is an opportunity for a product person to verify their understanding of market needs before actually building the product. If you’ve done a really great job in your customer discovery, then the roadmap is merely "confirming the mutual understanding" of these needs.

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ONE THING... Product Culture

I hung out last week with thousands of people, most of whom had never met and will never do so again. And yet there was a clear sense of community among these people, of shared values and ways of thinking, and critically of passion for making great products that make customers happy and businesses successful.

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ONE THING... Get out!

In successful product cultures, objectives change: no longer shipping on time and on budget, but solving customer problems in ways that meet the needs of your business. This change in approach puts a spotlight on the customer. How do you find out about customer needs? Get out of the building and talk to them.

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ONE THING... Culture Conversations

When product people are considering a job at a new company, the thing they most want to know is whether the company has a good culture, including an appreciation of the role of product. And I am witnessing an increasing recognition among CxOs that product management is the sort of leadership role that can pull the right team together and get them moving in the right direction. This is Product Culture.

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